Day three of violence: 27 more fall while political heads talk

Published: August 20, 2011
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Rangers stand alert in the troubled New Karachi area of the city. PHOTO: MOHAMMAD NOMAN/EXPRESS

Rangers stand alert in the troubled New Karachi area of the city. PHOTO: MOHAMMAD NOMAN/EXPRESS

Rangers stand alert in the troubled New Karachi area of the city. PHOTO: MOHAMMAD NOMAN/EXPRESS Rangers personnel evacuate an injured person in Saddar area of violence hit Karachi. PHOTO: RASHID AJMERI/EXPRESS

KARACHI: Four policemen were stopped, ambushed and shot at late on Friday.

According to Express 24/7 correspondent Sabin Agha, the four policemen were commandos who were heading towards Chakra goth in Korangi where two groups were engaged in heavy gunfire.

A DSP, from Qaidabad, was also injured.

Violence in Karachi escalates

Seven vehicles were torched in different parts of Karachi raising the death toll for the day to 20.

The death toll for two days of violence has reached 64.

The bodies bore signs of torture and were stuffed in jute gunny bags.

The old Karachi area and adjoining neighbourhoods of Lyari, Manghopir, Shershah, Saeedabad, Maripur and Muhajir Goth remain disturbed.

In fact, most of the killings reported were in the southern Lyari neighbourhood, a Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) stronghold infested by powerful criminal gangs.

Karachi’s worst-affected areas are impoverished and heavily populated neighbourhoods where most of the criminal gangs are believed to be hiding.

A meeting chaired by President Asif Ali Zardari reiterated that no criminal would be spared.

The independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said 800 people have been killed in Karachi so far this year, compared with 748 in 2010.

Updated from Print edition (below)

The political leadership put together appears impotent to rein in the escalating, unbridled violence in Karachi.

As leaders gathered at the Presidency on Friday to discuss the worsening law and order situation, 27 more casualties were reported in the city, including five police personnel.

Three successive days of violence has left more than 65 people dead.

Reserve police attacked

In the most brazen attack witnessed in the recent round of violence, unidentified gunmen fired at a bus carrying the Sindh Reserve Police personnel who had been called in to control the situation in Korangi.

Five personnel were killed in the attack and 30 injured, including deputy superintendent Badar Ali Shah.

Simultaneously, in a separate incident in Korangi, two political activists were killed and three injured.

Meanwhile, at least seven bullet-riddled bodies were found dumped in sacks across the city. Police officials said four of the victims were Urdu-speaking and were killed after having been abducted.

Officers said their hands and legs were tied and they bore several marks of torture.

There were also unconfirmed reports of 12 to 15 passengers in a bus being kidnapped in Sohrab Goth.

A heavy contingent of law enforcers patrolled the city throughout the day. Lyari was particularly tense. Families of the victims protested over the killings after funeral prayers.

Meeting at the presidency

Beefing up the intelligence network in Karachi and working out an arrangement to allow for pursuit of criminals fleeing the city were among the decisions taken at a meeting chaired by President Asif Ali Zardari at the presidency on Friday.

Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ibad and Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah were among those present at the meeting.

Participants at the meeting decided that Sindh government will approach the government of Balochistan for working out arrangements to allow for pursuit, by the Sindh police, of fleeing criminals.

The participants also decided to beef up the intelligence network in Karachi to provide real time information to the police, said spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar.

A committee comprising Sindh governor, chief minister and home minister was formed to oversee the law and order situation in Karachi.

Inviting MQM

During the meeting, the president called MQM chief Altaf Hussain in London and emphasised on the need to work together to fight lawlessness.

Elements behind the recent spike in violence wanted to drive a wedge between the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, the president said.

Reciprocating the sentiment, Hussain said that ending violence in Karachi was critical for peace and stability and the MQM supported any move that was aimed at restoring peace in the city.

The president also invited the MQM chief to join the federal and provincial governments and said that the gesture would send a powerful signal to deter criminal elements.

Rehman Malik visits

Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that the police and law enforcement agencies have arrested around 50 suspects involved in recent violence in Karachi.

A joint interrogation team has started the investigation and the detained suspects have provided important information regarding their network and affiliation, Malik said after a meeting with Inspector-General Police Wajid Durrani, Additional IGP Saud Mirza Rangers and intelligence officials.

He also appealed to the residents of Karachi to cooperate with the police and law enforcement agencies to indentify suspects in their areas.

Official sources said that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani may also reach Karachi on Saturday to hold a meeting on the deteriorating law and order situation.

Gilani will also talk to the local PPP leadership on the issue of proposed amendment in the local government system and rejoining of the MQM in Sindh and federal cabinet.

No need for army

Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wasan said that the army is not required to control the situation in Karachi and the government is trying to restore peace with the help of all political forces.

Talking to the media at Islamabad airport, Wasan said that every political party possesses weapons and has the people to use them.

“We have arrested some persons who are affiliated to different political parties,” he said. With additional input by Irfan Ghauri in Islamabad, Hafeez Tunio in Karachi and wires.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (39)

  • Qasim
    Aug 20, 2011 - 12:43AM

    This is getting scarier, get us escorted out of the city PLEASE

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Aug 20, 2011 - 12:48AM

    The ratio of killing of policemen comparing to the deaths of uncounted civilians is negligible.

    The Police men have laid down their lives in the line of duty.

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  • Saddened dr
    Aug 20, 2011 - 12:54AM

    Well apparently even police is nt safe anymore in khi!wtf..its like a nightmare for the common citizen!

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  • Shahid
    Aug 20, 2011 - 1:03AM

    If pakistani army is not willing to play its role or of any help in Karachi situation.Let’s ask United nations to send its peace keeping forces to protect innocent citizens or even neighboring countries such as India or china to help.

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  • Scratching head
    Aug 20, 2011 - 1:04AM

    just wondering the cause of this violence.. ab kya hua?

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  • Balma
    Aug 20, 2011 - 1:23AM

    We need police and rangers to pull a few more sarfaraz shahs!
    Aur qaum is totally jungly and needs a maula bakhsh all the time.

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  • sam
    Aug 20, 2011 - 1:25AM

    Mess created by political parties, I hope we learn something out of this and dont vote them again … we are so divided as a nation that some million support PPP actions tuo some MQM’s and other ANP … Recommend

  • rehmat
    Aug 20, 2011 - 1:26AM

    The fact that this was not a shoot out where the police died. Rather the criminal gangs were strong enough stop a police vehicle, disembark the police and then kill them shows how emboldened these terrorists are and also that the writ of the state does not run in Karachi. I wonder if Hamid Gul and Imran Khan will decry this incident as a breach of sovereignty – because make no mistake it IS a breach of sovereignty.

    Karachi houses 10% of Pakistan’s population and generates over 50% of its taxes. For their to be a complete breakdown in law and order – as currently seems to be the place is very troublesome. Not just does it have very tragic consequences for those who hav been kiled and their families but indirect consequences on unemployment and inflation throughout the nation.

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  • Imran Mohammad
    Aug 20, 2011 - 1:27AM

    Army is needed and Swat like operation is required. Period. Otherwise, get ready fro civil war !!!

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  • Aug 20, 2011 - 1:31AM

    This is really scary… The way Policemen were targeted and then a Passenger Bus was hijacked from Sohrab Goth… Well I think it’s time for boots on the Ground… What do you guys think?

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  • ali
    Aug 20, 2011 - 1:37AM

    I’m sick of saying this.. Ppl of karachi are sick of saying this… Army army army… Now..Recommend

  • faraz
    Aug 20, 2011 - 1:52AM

    Writ of the state is non-existant. Massive crackdown is needed against these ethnic gangs

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  • Malik Sajjad
    Aug 20, 2011 - 1:54AM

    INA LILAH HAY WA INNA ALAI HE RAJEEONS.
    Aik Dafa Alhamd Sharif and three times Qul Sharif, all Muslims.
    Army Operation or Ranger Operation is the only Solution to Save the Lives of Rangers, Police and Karachians. Also save Business from die.

    Recommend

  • Who Cares
    Aug 20, 2011 - 2:23AM

    I being a citizen of the city, living in a relatively less aggressive and less violent side of the town am damn scared of the fact that this veil of violence will soon be in my area i need to buckle up, and get an ak47 assault riffle to protect me and family from the so called all party goons who are up for a massacre of innocent people, not just killing them but torturing them before kidnapping them, is surely is a nightmare now… Need to move out soon before its too late, before the day comes that i become the news.

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  • M
    Aug 20, 2011 - 2:27AM

    Rangers stop express team from coverage in Korangi

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  • Copper
    Aug 20, 2011 - 2:27AM

    @Mohammad Ali Siddiqui:
    What does it mean if its negligible? Both are great losses, a death of police personnel is even an indicator that danger is well above red-mark.
    My respect to all those policemen who have died.

    Recommend

  • Salman Orangiwala
    Aug 20, 2011 - 2:58AM

    The politicized police force of Karachi !!!! tsk tsk
    Recruited solely on the basis of ethnicity by PPP ,( they were police commnadoes ,mind you ) were so ill-trained and were devoid of the Target killer’s strategies. just fell for the trap ! A closer look at the wounded staffs’ physique revealed that they looked more like mini sumo wrestelers , let alone police commandoes .

    SO , what now ? even the “elite” police commandoes are so vulnerable to the target killers, what would happen to the ordinary citizens ?

    Recommend

  • Nadeem Ahmed
    Aug 20, 2011 - 3:04AM

    What else we can expect, when terrorists are set free and law enforcement personnel are tried in terrorist courts. According to the news, the terrorists who killed these policemen were checking vehicles at their “check post”, when bus carrying policemen stopped there. The terrorists while checking bus, found out about policemen and started shooting at them.
    Thank you Media and Courts, Terrorists and Robbers are our new role models.

    Recommend

  • HazT
    Aug 20, 2011 - 3:33AM

    It is time that Karachities (if not Pakistanis) should try to support our police and rangers to guide us through such troubled times. The failures are not individual failures as such rather a failure of our institutions. Expecting good values and ethics from an environment such as the one we find ourselves in today is being unreasonable. We are products of our environment. The police jawans are laying their lives to protect us, as are the rangers. If we do not support them, who will protect us? None of us will take their roles with such bravery..

    Just my opinion..

    Recommend

  • Pundit
    Aug 20, 2011 - 3:48AM

    Whats happening in Karachi today will happen to the rest of Pakistan tomorrow….

    All thanks to Corrupt Government and Politicians.

    Recommend

  • Arzoo
    Aug 20, 2011 - 4:41AM

    This mayhem will not stop until the people hold someone responsible. Start from demanding Zardari’s removal for failure to govern. Demand removal of PPP government. Demand removal of MQM Governor. Raise fundamental questions. Why is Zardari immune from corruption charges while being the President. If you call yourself an Islamic Republic isn’t the President the first to be held accountable.

    If you do that, see how fast you get some answers. It is up to you to listen to clownish ministers blame girlfriends and housewifes for the murders and genocide and make a mockery out of all these killings. Then take a look at how the British controlled their riots within a week. The culprits were caught within couple of days and the judiciary worked around the clock to bring the guilty to justice.

    Recommend

  • Insider
    Aug 20, 2011 - 5:53AM

    Yes, this is a classic military strategy. First create unrest and chaos (using proxy assets such as ANP, PAC, Taliban, remnants of Haqiqi, etc), like they did in Swat, and then move in and take the credit for restoring peace. And with Karachi burning, no one remembers about Saleem Shahzad murder or Osama bin Laden inquiry!
    Recommend

  • H.A. Khan
    Aug 20, 2011 - 8:15AM

    This killing has to stop.

    Chief Justice of Pakistan; please take suo moto notice of this Karachi killing.

    Pakistan army should seriously consider assisting in bringing law and order in Karachi and stopping this killing.

    Someone seriously should look at the performance of police /rangers.

    Home Minister of Sindh should stop dreaming and open his eyes.

    Recommend

  • Aug 20, 2011 - 8:23AM

    Political parties are helpless to stop violence.

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  • Talha
    Aug 20, 2011 - 8:26AM

    Salam Alikum everybody—— Goverment failed to provide safety, and succesfully took out ROTI KAPRAH AND MAKAAN from comon man. only thing that Zardari did is to got loose points of MQM & every allaince Party in PPP considering thier past not good aswell, where nobody cares what happening out there everyone searching for free hand for corruption.
    The most important i suggest is to call Army Not for operation only for de-politicise our Local Police first, under their supervision where every policeman have belonging to party other than their core duties ” to serve pakistan and work to maintain Peace”.
    Once police 50% de-politicise then its easy to takeover crime & target killing with low cost and more efficiently. Although you are well awared of after CIA our local police is much closer to local citizens.

    Recommend

  • Incredible
    Aug 20, 2011 - 8:56AM

    When will Pakistanis wake up and do something then just writing on ET.

    Recommend

  • Omer
    Aug 20, 2011 - 9:06AM

    I am sick of this corrupt government. Musharraf era was so much better!

    Recommend

  • Born Again Pakistani
    Aug 20, 2011 - 9:43AM

    Anyone remember Sarajevo? It would be good to read about what happened there… It seems we are in advanced stage of Balkanisation

    Recommend

  • Ahmer Ali
    Aug 20, 2011 - 9:45AM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.Violence in Karachi has proven that present corrupt government is paying all its attentions on its own security and has badly failed to provide security and protection to the nation as promised during the elections’ campaigns.To control the the Karachi’s killing game and to trace the target killers military operation as has been conducted in Swat has been need of the hour and COAS has to decide about it instead of provincial government.Because some political parties are backing up the violence in Karachi to destabilize the whole Pakistan’s economy because Karachi is the hub of all economic activities of Pakistan.Therefore military operation in Karachi as has been conducted in Swat must be started as soon as possible on priority basis against the culprits without any flexibility so that Pakistan’s economic situation could be boosted up and the most importantly lives of innocent people especially children could be saved from killing and kidnapping.

    Recommend

  • SKChadha
    Aug 20, 2011 - 10:05AM

    Is it a civil war going on in Karachi?

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  • Ashraf
    Aug 20, 2011 - 10:10AM

    Get the army to stabilize the nation before it falls apart. The army hasn’t had a reason to fight since 1971. A lot of soldiers have gone through an entire career without seeing a war. Get them to stop the local violence and give something back in return for the money they have made.

    Recommend

  • Aamir
    Aug 20, 2011 - 10:19AM

    PPP .. Pathetic Polluted Party has destroyed the whole nation. Now I know what would have happened in East Pakistan now Bangladesh.

    Recommend

  • nehal
    Aug 20, 2011 - 10:40AM

    the current pak gov. and the millitary chief dont show only “concern” as if Karachi and the people of Karachi are an independent nation and the neighboring country.The president as well as army chief have not even bothered to hold a national security meeting to address the current catastrophic situation in Karachi. The lawlessness of fata has gripped the financial capital of karachi, people are getting butchered in 1000 since last six months and the prime minister and president of pakistan are urging international community to invest in Pakistan, strange !!!
    Either president, prime minister and army chief are oblivious or they are incompetent. Now it is the time that leadership of Pakistan should think seriously and the first step would be to remove troops from fata in significant numbers and start political reconciliation in fata and start concentrating on Balochistan and other parts of Pakistan to improve the security situation .

    Recommend

  • R S JOHAR
    Aug 20, 2011 - 10:44AM

    Security forces, political parties and even state intelligence agencies are taking sides of particular ethnic groups and political parties and they are indulging in systematic killing of their rivals in Karachi. Bodies of tortured men of a particular community or party stuffed in gunny bags makes it amply clear which state agency is involved in the same. Karachi has been chosen as a flash point for a larger conspiracy to control the state.

    Recommend

  • Karim
    Aug 20, 2011 - 11:24AM

    It’s a humble request to Pakistan Army to take charge. We beg you please it’s worse situation i have ever seen in the world. No where in the world you will found dead bodies in bags and tortured with drill machines and bullets. This all thing is happening because of Pathan-Majahir riots and this was also happened in 80’s and 90’s.
    Please help us

    Recommend

  • Aug 20, 2011 - 12:33PM

    Policemen strange activity and appearance made them susceptible to terror attack. I wonder why they were traveling in “Marwat coach” (a private mini bus) and that too in civilian dress but heavily armed, even if they were going to ensure peace why did they chose to remain covert ?

    Recommend

  • Mohummad Omar Masood Qudsi
    Aug 21, 2011 - 1:01AM

    the only solution is to restore city district level govt.under the patronage of MQM . to safeguard the peace of Karachi – the establishment has to think and to act in accordance with the historical learning of the conflict between bengalis and non bengalis so our responses were so weak to deliver timely right decisions – same situation is emerged again Islamabad has to change its attitude towards registering the right of living as a major stake holder of urdu speaking community in forming Pakistan on the social principles of Islam .on which Pakistan was established not as the principles of the sons of the soil or non sons of the soil.

    Recommend

  • D'maagh
    Aug 21, 2011 - 2:42AM

    I keep saying army is the best rule for us. What is fruit of democracy? Mayhem chaos killings negative growth. Countries like china and Singapore are doing very well with army dictatorship rule. So why not Pakistan? Country progressed best under army rule since 50s- we were fastest growing country. What is this obsession with democracy – system that doesn’t work for us because of corrupt and useless political parties

    Recommend

  • mohammed
    Aug 21, 2011 - 8:19AM

    alot of it is the wives, gf, and fwb’s…that a fact! they angry

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